Mind Wide Open by Steven Johnson


This is a magnificent book. I am lucky to have been able to listen to it via audiobook.

There were a few “dry” spots in the book, but for the most part I couldn’t stop listening to it. Dry because the topics mentioned were complex and in depth; nevertheless, Steven Johnson’s superb writing ability was able to make it enjoyable and entertaining.

This is a book about you, me, everyone… with a brain. It explains how we act and why, using modern neuroscience and psychology. He even references and sometimes challenges theories created by the father of Psychoanalytic Psychology, Sigmund Freud.

It’s more evident to me that we are nurtured nature, but that’s a whole different story/debate.

Final Thoughts: It’s a good read/listen. I give it a 4.5/5.

Free Business Cards

Need business cards for that new small business, but you don’t want to go over board and get thousands of cards? Been there, done that.  Personally, for as long as I could remember ever needing business cards I have  gotten them free from VistaPrint…

Free Business Cards Plus 14 Day Free Shipping $50+

I have been using them for years now and still do. Yesterday, I referred them to a friend’s dad in need of business cards and thought I’d share the same information with everyone…

All we have to pay for is the shipping, which has gone up a bit but altogether it is a great deal.

Oh, they don’t just offer free business cards. They also offer free magnets, calendars, etc… so look for their “free products” tab.

The Law of Attraction by Michael Losier


I found this book to be informative, easy to comprehend, and practical. It is short and to the point. The ideologies presented are profoundly interesting. Along with the Law of Attraction, Mr. Losier briefly mentions NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). And how they can be used to change and shape our lives.

Although very interesting, I discovered that I have fortunately been using the Law of Attraction since I could remember ever wanting anything. Let me elaborate, it seems the “Law of Attraction” is a more scientific way of explaining these ways of thinking:

  • Keep your mind on the goal and don’t let anything make you doubt yourself.
  • Have a positive attitude at everything you want, stay confident.
  • The cup is half full, fill it up… it’s not half empty.
  • Surround yourself: with things you value, positives, people that are in tune with your wants.

As previously mentioned, I have always had a positive outlook on everything, therefore the Law of Attraction was not something that was extremely radical or new to me.  It was just a different way of viewing things.

However, I did come to the realization that when I changed the exercises around a little, they were helpful in shaping the ways in which my children think and view life… you know how kids are always questioning if they are doing things correctly… diffidence.

Anyways, for those of you out there that need a little reminder or motivation on how you should think when you have a goal in mind then this is book is a “must read.” But on a general basis, this book is a “should read.” It brings up very interesting topics… some of which are denounced by the scientific community.

I give it 4/5 stars.

A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.


I read this book to compare Bill Bryson’s view of “everything” against Steven Hawkins’ “A Brief History of Time.”

But there was no way to compare the two books. To my dismay this book was 20% about the universe’s exciting mysteries and 80% about the drama that we went through to uncover some of the universe’s mysteries.

So if you are looking for a book about science, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK, it will be a waste of your time. Its all histrionic stories of our past struggles as a race.

Review Thoughts: I give this book a 2/5 stars. Do not read it.

*With that said if the book were titled differently… maybe: Historical Drama, tales of our ancestors; I would give it a 5/5.


Set Up Your Computer To Receive and Send Faxes

I was at the store the other day and noticed that people still buy fax machines. Instantly, I thought to myself, “Wow, are you kidding me?” At our technological state, we should all have the necessary components to configure our computers to receive and send faxes.

Here’s what you’ll need to receive and send faxes (bare minimum)*…

  1. A computer with Windows XP or Vista on it
  2. It has to have a modem
  3. A phone line

*To send paper documents, you’ll need a method of getting the desired fax documents to your computer, ie a scanner. If the documents are already on your computer than you won’t need that scanner.

Here’s how to setup your computer to receive and send faxes (straight from Microsoft)…

XP –> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/hwandprograms/printfaxscan.mspx#3

Vista –> http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-us/help/488ac4fb-7436-4a03-bb70-6ded839dd3c21033.mspx

After everything is up and running, you’ll need to test your setup; luckily, there’s a free service that you can use…


Good Luck.

Opening UIF Files

A friend recently came across an uif file and couldn’t open it. Why? Well, it’s quite simple he is too cheap to go buy a copy of MagicISO. What did he do? That’s simple too, he asked me to open it for him like I was some sort if tech geek. 🙂 Anyways, I told him what I normally do, which is…

  • Go to download.com and download a trial version of it, linky.
  • Extract
  • Uninstall

Downfall… the trial version has a limitation, the file size must be 300mb or less. You guessed it, his file was 800mb. So, another method was needed. I did some Googling and hit a gold mine by the name of UIF to ISO Converter GUI. This simple yet very useful program did the job perfectly. All credits go to Luigi Auriemna for the program and Janis Elsts the GUI. Thank you both.

Yes, this program only converts the file to the ISO format. The only difference is there are a handful of free ISO programs, while MagicISO (you have to buy it) is the only one that handles uif files.

Final Thoughts: In the end I walked away from helping someone in need with a nifty little program. NICE!

Turn Off XP Error Reporting

XP Error Report is today’s subject. Specifically, if you wish to turn it off because it is super annoying… this is how you would go about doing it…

1) Go to your Control Panel
2) Select System Properties
3) Select the Advance Tab
4) Click on the “Error Reporting” tab
5) Turn it OFF

You will see that it is possible to turn all off or do it for specific programs; this is especially useful if you have a third party software that consistently causes the errors but want to know of all the XP Operating System errors.

WordPress = Spam Central

Lately, my blog has been inundated with spam. I have tried blocking a few of the servers that had been leaving me all the spam comments but the number of IPs have also been growing exponentially. If someone has a solution to this incipient problem, please let me know.


Don’t go to the Post Office

An important lesson I recently learned since I started actively selling on eBay is that no one should have to ever drive to the post office. It doesn’t matter how close you live to your post office, USPS should come to your house daily if necessary, except Sundays.

We all know that mailing a letter is as easy as putting it in our mail box, right? Well, I hope so. 🙂

The internet has made mailing packages just as easy. If you sell through eBay, this service is tightly integrated into their system. Once a sale is done and payment has been received, all a seller does is click on a link labeled, “Print Shipping Label.” From there we are sent to PayPal’s shipping center where we enter in the package’s weight and our preferences. The final step is to print out our “save a trip to the post office shipping label” and stick (clear packaging tape is necessary) it to the package.

What if you want to ship something that wasn’t sold through eBay? Can we still ship our packages using this method? The answer is YES! My uncontrollable excitement for this answer is the reason for this blog. All you have to do is follow this link…


Oh, of course, you’ll at least need a PayPal account to this service.

There are many benefits to doing things this way:

1) you’ll save gas < — hello my name hurricane IKE
2) you’ll save time
4) you can stay in PJs
3) you’ll save with delivery confirmation, which cost $0.75 at your local P.O. and $0.18 online.

You don’t want to use PayPal? There is still hope. Go straight to the USPS.com website and sign up with them, just click on their “print a shipping label” link. The drawback to this is you are limited to Priority or Express Mail only, which cost much more.

Final notes… you’ll need a scale of some sort to accurately see how much your package weights. And if your packages is a big one, you might have to take it in to your local post office. If you aren’t sure what is or isn’t too big, I’d visit USPS.com for their say in it.

I hope this helps someone because it has helped me tremendously; especially for the non-eBay items.

The Dilemma, What would you do?

As an IT expert, I try to do whats best for family, friends, and clients all alike. I give them all the same advice. However, I have been having a dilemma with a specific piece of software.

I am talking about the Firefox plugin, named Adblock. What it does is blocks virtually all ads while you are surfing the web. What this means is faster surfing and less annoyances. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it… as a constant web surfer. But as a website developer, I know those very ads sometimes pay for the site’s cost.

So far I still tell everyone to use it as normal, mostly because my sites are either hobbies or so small that their cost doesn’t mean much. I could just imagine the big time players running multiple servers and their cost.

What would you do?